Nokia: Open source developers should play by our rules

Nokia has embraced open source, but now says developers should play by its rules. Does it have a point?

Tellingly, Jaaski expressed some disappointment with Nokia's Maemo experiment. "The community had already gone in a different direction than [us], and no one was pushing it other than [us]," he said at the Handsets World conference. In other words, Nokia's tools hadn't leapfrogged the open source tools; instead, the open source community leapfrogged Nokia.

Nokia assumes that the solution is to "educate" the open source community, but not everyone agrees. On the contrary; Google is banking that the mobile market will follow the pattern we've seen on desktop PCs since the rise of the Internet, where connectivity and free access to information is becoming more important than ownership of software. To that end, it is busy readying Android, a feature-rich, fully open source OS platform for mobile devices.

Nokia could be following Google's example. Instead, it has allowed itself to be bogged down by notions inherited from a computing model that's rapidly becoming outdated. As Jaaski himself admitted, "As an industry, we plan to use open source technologies, but we are not yet ready to play by the rules."

Most of us call that cheating.

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